April 29th, 2007 |

SATURDAY, APRIL 28: Hooray for summer! It’s coming! Nothing could stop this week’s enthusiasm. I arrived safely back in New York after a week long vacay in which I visited family, Disneyland, skipped the white warm beaches of Santa Barbara, ate a delicious Double Double Animal style by myself without people badgering me (I hate talking when I’m eating, especially when it’s something I love like In N Out) and wandered the aisles of Amoeba with my arms open spinning in circles like Maria on the hilltops of Germany in The Sound Of Music. Purchases included The B-52’s Wild Planet for $5.99 (my old one was scratched) and Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band Stranger In Town for $3.00!

I hadn’t listened to Wild Planet in almost four years and I have never owned Stranger In Town, so needless to say every song is like a jewel. Songs like “Still The Same” sound amazing on the radio, but it’s when they’re paired in sequence with their other album mates that they truly come alive and tell a story. And “Give Me Back My Man” by The B-52’s: man oh man, I dare anyone to find another song that better conveys the urgency, confusion and desperation of newly lost love.

Anyway, I digress. All these things frightened me, made me weary of my return back to the cold Apple. Would coming back to all these people, noise and homelessness depress me? Would I simply want to turn around and head back to L.A.? The answer (I know you’re dying to know) was a surprising no. I showed up on a rainy day with a big yucky frown on my face (I can just see myself as a movie clip in some pretentious Frenchie film, a silent grainy shot of a plane pulling into an airport, rainy windows, closing in on one in particular, my hand on the glass, palm flat, my face clouded in grief, raindrops dripping slowing in uneven intervals) and I went home a grumpy skunk and fell into bed, only to wake up to sunshine, sparkly drippy streets, friends and all the trees on my street blooming with little white cherry blossoms and bright green leaves.

Which brings me (finally) to this weeks show, Clipd Beaks. Alice and Hee Haw both knew them and couldn’t stop singing their praises, so after a long wonderful day of catching up with buddies I headed over to Cakeshop to catch the show. OHMIGAWD! They are A M A Z I N G! More than I was expecting (I never expect much when a friends band is in town since I’m going for friendship and not reputation).

The first song opened with lead singer Nick howling like an angry ghost through an old transistor radio, followed quickly by something resembling synthesized gunshots, all the while the band stood in darkness illuminated by a blinking light that they had placed in drummer Ray’s kick drum. Finally bass and lead guitar jumped in followed by a trumpet being blared into a microphone, which was followed by a classic angry punk wail. And with that they had jumped out of the gate. As soon as I had them pegged though as an Indian Jewelry/Misfits experimental jazz monster, they went and slowed the whole mess down, melting into some kind of heavy prog rock Badmotorfinger Soundgarden thing.

To say my head spun 360 is putting it mildly. They blew my fucking mind. It was awesome and exciting and I didn’t want them to stop. Lead Singer Nick is a fucking rock star and I HATE saying cheesy shit like that, but he owns a stage. Alice and I were our usual front row hoosie selves, thrashing and bopping and screaming and whistling. Even Hee Haw got her sway on and she’s usually one of those music observers who nods and takes it in. The best way I can describe them would probably be “funk punk.” But what do I know? I never said I was an expert, just a fan.
I actually spent today with the Clipd Beaks and some friends at a Native American Pow Wow uptown and again, it was another amazing day, and I can tell you that each of the dudes is totally as rad as they were onstage, except less screamy and more, you know, normal. They told me they’re moving to L.A. in August, so lucky you guys.

Reporting Live from New York,
I’m Nikki Darling and You’re Not!